Feb 22, 2015


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The kids' new obsession in life.

Feb 15, 2015

Not Fair!

Our dog, The Dreaded Jungle Basset, is not allowed on our beds. This rule goes double for the parental bed. She usually respects this rule with aplomb, but has been known to whine and pitch a fit when she sees one of the kids on my bed. She thinks of the kids as her equals and feels as though anything they are allowed to do she should also be allowed to do.

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The other day, the kids and I were all hanging out on my bed, watching Fiddler on the Roof songs on Youtube when Sofie trotted into the room. She saw me and came around to put her head up for a pat and a scratch around the ears. That's when she saw the kids. And she lost her cool. She started barking. She started growling. She stomped around the room barking and growling at us. Then she grabbed HER bed, a soft gray mat that we keep in my room, and dragged it, growling out of the room into the hall and into the boys' room. Then she came back and barked at us some more. She made it very clear that not only was she unhappy with the injustice but that if we weren't going to share our bed then she wasn't going to share hers!

Feb 7, 2015

Sick Week

I have post almost ready about our next History section. And I am working on a post about our newest science exploits. But this week has been a week of sickness and non-productivity. So instead I'm going to leave you with this one fun picture and try to do better next week.

Jan 26, 2015

Ancient History: Noah and the Ice Age

I know it's been a while since I've updated our history studies, but we had two lax weeks where only the basics got accomplished. And then I forgot that I didn't publish this post... But, we have finally finished our projects and books up through the Ice Age! And, even better, you can now read about it! (we've actually done more, but... see the part about my bad memory above...)

To start with, we read:

The appropriate selections from
Mystery of History Vol 1

The True Story of Noah's Ark

This book was given to us many, many years ago by a dear friend of mine. The kids read and looked through it a lot when they were little, but it had been sitting on a shelf for a while so I pulled it out and read it aloud. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is as close to the actual Bible as it can be. We read it alongside of reading the story from Genesis, and I have to tell you that we all learned something we didn't already know. And that's hard to do with a story you hear so often in Sunday School! 

This book was also given to us by the same good friend. This is a great book for your dinosaur-crazed kid if you want something that comes from the Creation worldview. Since we are Young Earth Creationists, I have always enjoyed this book. It's level is a little below my kids, but it was a fun read-aloud all the same. It sparked some discussion, which is always good. 

This was a great book. We took our time reading through it and by the time we were finished, the kids had started playing "cave man" pretend games. I love how it explains early man from a Creation worldview. It is well-written with nice pictures that my kids enjoyed looking at.

We watched:

A Youtube video of a Noah's Ark Replica

We did:

Each kid drew a picture of the ark from Draw and Write Through History

Kaytie's. She included a giraffe and a snail. Considering how high the water is getting, they had better hurry!

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Nate's. He added a wooly mammoth and two "seafaring dinosaurs" which, he believes, were the ancestors of the Loch Ness Monster.

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Daniel added a wooly mammoth

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Abbie included an apparently very proud giraffe and a snail. The giraffe is going the wrong way because he forgot to use the restroom first.

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We froze and excavated some animals. I got the idea from this post. We used disposable aluminum bread pans and Toob animals. I chose the ones that seemed most likely to be found frozen in ice and I made sure the eskimo was in there because, of course, humans were around in the Ice Age. I tried the advice she gave about freezing your animals in layers so they stay standing up, but my animals were more stubborn than hers, I guess, because some of them managed to float to the top anyway.

All frozen in the ice... I was highly irritated at the penguin and the fox.

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The kids used knives to chip away at the ice.

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They also used droppers to apply hot water,

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and salt water

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Progress was slow but steady.

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In the end, they each dug out two figures.

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And were pretty thrilled about it. 

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This activity was a huge hit. The kids loved it and have asked to do it again several times.

What I  wanted to do but never quite got around to:

And you can get some more ideas from my Ancient History Pinterest board

You can read about our first section, Creation, here, and an overview of our history plans and resources here.

We have already finished the next section, so I will try not to take so long to get it posted!

Jan 19, 2015

The Science Life

For this week entry in the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair, I'm going to talk about our method of learning science, which is really more of a "life" than anything. To read other entries, click on the links at the end of this post!

I don't worry that much about teaching a formal science to my kids. We love science around here and the kids are always "doing" science in some manner or the other. When they aren't experimenting, reading, exploring, or discovering, they are talking about scientific things.

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 My ten-year-old is especially fond of this. He loves to ask me questions about black holes, the Theory of Dark Matter, the possibility of aliens, what various animals eat, and similar topics. He especially loves to discuss and debate Creation vs Evolution.

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 My nine-year-old is usually busy with some insect he has found, or is performing an experiment with vinegar and baking soda, or growing a plant, or working with one of our many science kits. (Wiz Kids are our favorite)

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 The girls generally prefer to read about science topics and they help out with blowing something up, raising a roly poly bug, or searching out information on whichever topic the boys are currently obsessed with.

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 However, I still like to regularly inject some formal science into their lives. Mostly to give them some structure and some inspiration. They tend to get stuck in a rut and occasionally I like to give them something to think about beside insects and outer space.

But. I got tired of paying lots of money for science curriculum to sit on our shelf because the kids found it "too easy" or "boring". So this year, I assigned the older kids to pick a topic and run with it. Kaytie has been researching and studying rain and is currently writing (and illustrating) a report on it. Nate read some books on chemistry, then we reviewed Fascinating Education and he has been faithfully using it every day.

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My plan for Daniel and Abbie was also simple. To read Magic School Bus books and do experiments. But apparently, it wasn't simple enough, or maybe it was too simple, because it flopped. As in, we read half a book and then did nothing else for weeks and weeks. So on our next trip to the library, I picked up Cells Are Us and Janice Vancleave's Human Body for Every Kid. Then I made up a simple plan that looks like this:

Read Cells Are Us
draw cells (use Janice VanCleave's Human Body for Every Kid pg 6 for model)
make an edible cell from Apologia book
make cell model 
Read and do "Breakthrough" chapter from Janice VanCleave's Human Body for Every Kid
Start Personal Person from Apologia book

When we have accomplished this list (so far we have read Cells Are Us) I will choose another human anatomy topic (brains, bones, respiratory system, etc. ) or let the kids choose and make another list similar to this one. 

The reason why I love science is because it is super easy to engage the kids and I don't need elaborate plans to teach them something. 

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Exploring World History Through the Eyes of Scientists by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Exploring Our World With Social Studies by Stacie @ Super Mommy to the Rescue
Relaxed Homeschooling: Science and Social Studies in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom's Heart
Living History by Sarah @ Delivering Grace
Classically Influenced, Project Strong, Adaptable Middle School History by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool
Primary Sources for Delight-Directed History by Susan @ The Every Day of Education
Watching History, or Using Video Courses for Social Studies by Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Exploring our World: High School Studies of Ancient History, American Government and Economics by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
History, Geography, and Worldview Lessons in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life
Our Curriculum Choices 2015 ~ Science, History & Geography by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun
Our Favorites for History, Geography, and Science by Becky @ Milo & Oats
Globe Trotting by Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Around The World by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Bible-Based History Curriculum and Resources by Tauna @ Proverbial Homemaker
13 Living Book History Series for a Charlotte Mason Based Homeschool by Chelli @ The Planted Trees
Social Studies and Science in Our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm
The Science Life by Laura @ Four Little Penguins
History, Geography Science for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses
History Social Studies and Science...VCF Week 3 by Denise @ Fullnest
Learning About our World and History by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Taking the Mystery Out of History and Other Subjects Too With Our Favorite History Curriculum by Amy @ One Blessed Mamma

Jan 17, 2015

Five Quick Photos

This is what we've been up to lately.

Ninja fighting

Nate has been heading up lots of games of Risk.

New haircuts.

Trying out new hairstyles.

Wearing safety goggles because "math is dangerous".


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